2. Relationships- Personal relationships are absolutely the key to fundraising and email should be used as another channel to strengthen existing relationships.
3. Fundraising Awareness- No other marketing technique gives you the ability to notify hundreds or even thousands of targeted individuals in a matter of minutes. Emails can create awareness for fundraising campaigns and call people to action. Your emails must be compelling and avoid being unfairly labeled as spam to connect with supporters.
4. Community- One of the most important functions of email is to provide relevant articles and organization newsletters. Within the email, provide a link back to your websites’ blog or forum page where they can comment on the article or newsletter. This will encourage personal involvement and community.
6 Requirements of a Great Email Fundraising Effort
1. Get Them to Look at Your Email- If you can master this, then you are well on your way. But how do you get your email noticed with all the ”junk mail” people sort through every day? Below are some ideas to make your messages stand out.
- Tie subject with current headline when possible. Attaching your email subject to a news headline indicates that the email is current and interesting to the reader.
- Be bold. There are thousands of fundraisers and even more emails sent every year. As soon as you realize this, you will understand the absolute necessity to be courageous and make your subject stand out.
- Be mysterious. A subject that leaves the reader wondering will also give him/her a reason to find out more.
- Segment and test. “… The top-performing message had a 15 percent higher open rate and an 81 percent higher click-through rate than the lowest performing message” (Innovations in Online Direct Response Fundraising). Identify what is working and what is not by running side by side tests of emails and measure their performance.
3. Make Privacy a Priority- With the overwhelming amount of spam emails, people are extremely hesitant to give their email address and even more skeptical of companies who are requesting them. 96% of email subscribers view email privacy as important to them and 83% of internet users have avoided subscribing to email newsletters because they weren’t sure the organization would protect their email address (NewsTarget.com). Email service providers and copy (text) on the website which guarantees your organization will not sell email addresses are both important to building confidence.
4. Provide Relevant Links- Relevant links within an email which direct to further information gathering will allow you to write emails that are short and to the point. If the reader is interested in learning more then you have provided him/her with the means to do so. Do not turn your email into a novel. Make it short, scannable (bullets or numbers often help), and easy to digest. For more about email format visit Constant Contacts website.
5. Ship Emails at the Right Time with the Right Frequency- Do you read emails on weekends? If you are a typical American, your answer is no. The time and frequency you send emails are central factors to readers’ responsiveness to them.
- Avoid weekends
- Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to send emails
- 60% of all email is opened between Tuesday and Thursday
- 60% of emails are opened between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM
- Early mornings are optimal times to send emails
- Be consistent with the frequency you send emails (emaillabs.com)
7. Do Not Ask for Donations in First Email- Relationships are absolutely paramount in fundraising efforts. You wouldn’t ask for money the first time you met someone, and you shouldn’t in the first time you email someone either. Start with email newsletters that notify what the organization has accomplished, what projects the organization is working on, and what events are coming up. Send relevant articles and resources that are useful to the recipients. Why? Nobody is going to continue opening your emails if they believe all they will contain is a request for money. After the reader is comfortable with the newsletters, you can then begin notifying them of fundraising campaigns and ways they can personally contribute, but keep these subtle. Also, remember to send a follow-up email thanking those who made a contribution (for large donations a personal phone call is appropriate).
Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson
www.TicketPrinting.com Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013